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Fitness Consultant


Gluten free and IBS sufferer

Hi I'm struggling so much. Following abdominal surgery and chemo last year, I've had problems with iBS and under Dietician guidance I've been following a special diet which excludes gluten and foods which ferment in the stomach (most veg, inluding garlic & onions). Gluten free is expensive, dry and has more calories. I go to the gym, do yoga classes and care for my grandchildren twice a week, including a 15 min walk to school and back. I've stayed the same, but this week gained as I keep going over. I feel like giving up.


Our expert says...

Hi there,

Thanks for your email and sorry to hear that you’ve been finding things a bit tough recently.

From what you’ve said, it sounds to me as though your dietitan has put you onto a programme called the FODMAP diet – this is a relatively new diet that has been shown to help with symptoms of IBS. The trouble with it is that it’s quite restrictive, as you’ve mentioned, and there are lots of things you can’t have if you want to see the benefits.

I would agree that gluten free options can be more expensive, and can have more calories, but there are alternatives to this. The best thing to do is to try and find foods that you can eat that are naturally free from wheat and gluten – so this means avoiding foods such as bread, pasta, biscuits etc. I can see that you’ve been replacing your usual breads and biscuits etc with gluten free options. Instead try alternative foods such as replacing pasta with potatoes or rice, cutting down on bread altogether and having things like soups or salads for lunch instead. Introduce a gluten free breakfast cereal such as a rice based, or corn based one.

Although you’re not Coeliac (the condition that means you have to follow a gluten free diet), the charity Coeliac UK has some really helpful information which I think you would find useful. In particular it talks about naturally gluten free options. There are more and more companies now producing gluten free foods, and they’re not all higher in calories and fat. There is a company called Ilumi which offers calorie controlled portions which are gluten free. Here's this link to their website if you're interested in having a look www.ilumiworld.com

It’s worth having a chat about how you’re feeling to your dietitan as she should be able to give you a food plan to follow, which will enable you to find gluten free options that you like, and that fit within your diet plan and calorie allowance.

I wish you all the best of luck with everything and please don’t hesitate to get back in touch if you have any further questions at all.


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